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Burning Mountain Nature Reserve

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Home to Australia’s only naturally burning coal seam, Burning Mountain Nature Reserve is great for school excursions and is packed with day walks, scenic views, birdwatching and picnicking opportunities.

Read more about Burning Mountain Nature Reserve

Sometimes, the quiet corners of a state hold the biggest surprises. Burning Mountain Nature Reserve is tucked away off New England Highway, but make the stop in your car and what you’ll discover is an ancient phenomenon right beneath your feet.

To traditional Aboriginal owners, it’s the fiery tears of a woman long since turned to stone by Biami, the sky god. Early explorers assumed Burning Mountain's billowing smoke and peak of grey, smouldering ash was an active volcano. It’s actually a combusting coal seam, that’s been smouldering under the surface of the earth for an estimated 5,500 years. The main attraction isn’t all though; it’s also the perfect place for a day walk, with scenic views across the valley.

A popular pit stop with travellers, Burning Mountain Nature Reserve is a great place to pause for a break and soak up the unusual geological conditions. In fact, there’s nothing else quite like it in Australia. Bring binoculars for birdwatching, a water bottle, and sturdy shoes for a walk into the heart of the action. There’s even an information rotunda, ensuring you get the most out of your visit to this special place.

Highlights in this park

  • Family on the viewing platform overlooking the coal seam deposit. Credit: John Spencer © DPE

    Burning Mountain walk

    Burning Mountain walk is the best way to discover this unusual nature reserve, with information panels along an accessible 4km return track that has s...


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A family walk a boardwalk section of Bouddi coastal walk, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Spencer/OEH.

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